From April 13th to 19th, the Mont Sion Gikungu place hosted a Reconciliation week, an initiative run by the Mariya Arafasha Foundation which gathered more than one hundred participants from Burundi, Northern Ireland, Israel, South Africa and USA.
During the whole week, participants explained trends of conflict and shared testimonies of reconciliation in their respective countries. According to the organizers, the initiative aimed at encouraging Burundian Youth in the process of reconciliation and warning them from division and manipulation regarding the forthcoming electoral period.
At the closure of the week, Father Déo Maruhukiro, the leader of Mariya Arafasha Foundation expressed his satisfaction “I have been deeply touched by testimonies we heard. We have been encouraged because what happened in Burundi also happened elsewhere and people are trying to get out of division and radicalism and work together for peace and development”. He added that participants in this activity realized that reconciliation is not a matter discussed in conference by politicians but it is a personal and courageous decision of each individual to approach his/her rival searching dialogue, reconciliation and rebuilding of relationships. According to Father Deo Maruhukiro, if every Burundian decides to forgive and reconcile with his colleagues, neighbors and relatives, Burundi could then achieve a real and effective reconciliation rapidly; the country will see a new generation of people preparing to live in unity and peace despite differences.
Drummers, theatric groups and diverse choirs were also part of this event. They all performed songs, plays and delivered messages focused on peace and reconciliation, showing the thirst Burundian people is feeling for peace and reconciliation.